Is digital marketing not getting your phone ringing or email full of prospects? That’s because it doesn’t work without a marketing plan. Small Business Stacey lays out a simple, online and offline, 6-Step Small Business Marketing Plan that just works. #ASmallBizLife #WhereMarketingMeetTechnology
Adam: So today I have Stacey Riska on the line, aka Small Business Stacey. And she is a small business champion over at Small Biz Marketing Specialist. Stacey?
Stacey: Hi, Adam. Great to be with you and your community today.
Adam: Oh my gosh. So first thing is when I got you on the line, I was like your book. You probably have the best book cover I’ve seen in a really long time. You’re showing the guns. And you’re a small business specialist. I love it. Just to start off, everybody that’s listening, where do they pick up a copy of his book? Let’s start off there.
Stacey: Oh, thanks. And by the way, that is not photoshopped. So my book is called Small Business Marketing Made EZ. And the letters are E-Z because marketing can be easy when you have a six-step system to get it into ACTION. And I say that meaning pun intended.
Adam: I love it. And we’re going to get into your six-step system. But before we do, tell us a little bit more about your company. What you’re doing over at Small Biz Marketing Specialist, please.
Stacey: Thanks for asking. So, Adam, what we do is we help small business owners get their marketing into ACTION, pun intended. Because here’s the thing. Small business owners know that they need to do marketing, but, believe me, when they come to me, there is every excuse in the book. “I don’t have time. I don’t have the expertise. I don’t even know what to do.” Or, “I’ve been working on this simple three-step email, but it’s just not perfect yet.”
So small business owners come to me either because, one, they’re making excuses about why they can’t get their marketing done. Or more likely they hold the title of CEO, chief everything officer. And that is not a good use of any small business owners’ time. So when small business owners come to us, I will ask them, “What’s your biggest challenge right now?”
And so many of them will say, “Getting more leads.” That’s such a common answer. And, Adam, I bet you hear that a lot as well.
Well, here’s the thing. Small business owners don’t need more new, new, new. They are spending ridiculous amounts of money on Facebook and Google ads. And if you ask them what their ROI is, they’ll say nothing. Now, my backstory is actually that I ended up $500,000 in debt. And so I didn’t have money to go out and run Google and Facebook ads to turn my business around. I did it by implementing six simple steps that I call my ACTION Marketing System. And it works. In two years, I was able to transform my business from $500,000 in debt to a seven-figure profitable business. And this is the same system that I use today to help my clients get their marketing into ACTION.
Adam: That’s awesome. And I think that’s a great transition. Let’s just get right into it. So tell us more about this six-step plan.
The six-step plan is called ACTION, A-C-T-I-O-N. It all starts with the letter “A”, getting attention. And, Adam, here’s what most small business owners do. They’ll put their name on a sign, run up and down the street naked thinking, “Oh, this is a great way to get attention.” It’s not the right kind of attention. What you want to do is figure out your who. Who do you serve? And getting so crystal clear on that that you are… My motto is “Be something for someone.” You can’t be everything to everyone. So be something for someone. And once you do that, you can move on to the next letter, which is “C”. Which stands for connect.
Connect is basically not asking somebody to marry you on the first date. That’s going to be a little bit creepy, but that’s what most small business owners do, right? They’ll be, “Hey, baby. Want to buy my stuff? Want to buy my stuff?” No! Somebody who doesn’t really know, like, and trust you yet doesn’t want to buy your stuff. So the way that you, “C”, connect with them is to get them to raise their hand and say, “Yeah, I’d like to know more about you. Yeah, I’ll go on a first date with you.” And the way you do that is by offering what’s called lead generation, or free reports and checklists. Basically, get people to opt-in, raise their hand, and say, “Yeah, I want to know more.”
Then we move on to the next step, which is “T”. “T” stands for transactions. And while many small business owners are thinking, “Yeah, now I get to make some money.” Monetary transactions. The T that I’m talking about really means touchpoint. Because here’s the thing, people buy when they’re ready to buy, not when you’re ready to sell to them. People buy when they’re ready to buy, not when you’re ready to sell to them. So the way that you build transactions is by communicating and touchpoints along the way so that it’s not pitching and selling all the time. It’s providing helpful information. Maybe it’s through an email newsletter or your social media posts or your ratings and reviews. It’s all about positioning you as the expert, and keeping you front-of-mind so that when that customer, client, or patient is ready to buy, you are the most obvious solution for them.
The “I” stands for invest. And invest means knowing your metrics. What’s working? And what’s not? Here’s the thing that I tell my audience. Too many small business owners are focusing on the wrong metrics, vanity metrics. How many Facebook likes do I have? How many Twitter followers? How many people are opening my emails? These are vanity metrics because they make you feel good, but here’s the thing. You can’t deposit vanity metrics in the bank. So the only metrics that matter are those metrics that deposit money in the bank. And that’s what I help my clients do. Define the metrics that matter, and build out a marketing plan that deposits that ROI in their bank account.
The “O” in the ACTION marketing system stands for ongoing. Marketing is something that you need to be doing every single day. And I don’t want you to become the CEO, chief everything officer. My motto is “Do what you do best. Outsource the rest.” So if your expertise, and your time, isn’t best spent on marketing, then hire a company, a firm, that specializes in marketing so that you can get it done. And make sure that your marketing is ongoing, getting done every single day.
The “N” in the ACTION marketing system stands for nurture. Because once you’ve followed my system, and you have these customers, clients, and patients, you want to make sure that they don’t leave. You don’t want them to be a transaction in-the-door, out-the-door, in-the-door, out-the-door. Here’s the thing. Customers refund transactions. They don’t refund relationships. So you want to nurture them. This is your pot of gold, the customers, clients, and patients you already have.
So making sure that you have a process and the system in place to nurture them, to wow them, to get ratings and reviews, and ultimately make them your brand ambassadors. So when you implement the six simple steps of the ACTION Marketing System, you and your business are running like a well-oiled machine.
Adam: I know this is going to vary from, obviously, client-to-client, business-to-business. Right now, a lot of people listening: business owners, entrepreneurs, executives. So let’s say that they haven’t gone down this path, and maybe they’re kind of behind on the marketing thing. What do you think is some of the low-hanging fruit that would be the first step for somebody listening to this to really consider as they changed some plans around to get better in marketing in their overall plan?
Great question, Adam. The low-hanging fruit is the customers, clients, and patients you already have. Use your database, and your list, to reach out to them, to build a community. Maybe you can use this by putting together a Facebook group, and going in there once a week, doing some videos, doing some training, sharing some tips. Letting people ask you questions. Sending out a weekly email newsletter with some helpful information. Simply asking your customers, clients, and patients, what they want, and giving it to them, will then help you build your business.
Adam: Oh, that’s awesome. You’re such a rock star, Stacey. I love talking to you, and I have like 50 more questions to ask you. But we’re about out of time for this episode. That being said, if somebody is listening to this, Stacey, and they want to connect with you because they want to learn more about Small Biz Marketing Specialist, what’s the best way for them to do that?
Stacey: Sure. Well, my home base is smallbizmarketingspecialist.com, small, B-I-Z, specialist.com. And I would love to gift your audience a free copy of my book, Small Business Marketing Made EZ (free copy for a limited time only), just go to smallbizmarketingspecialist.com/book. And I would love to connect with you in my free Facebook group, Small Biz Marketing Success.
Adam: Fantastic. Well, Hey, Stacey. I really appreciate you coming on the show today and sharing more of your ACTION plan. And you really did pack a lot of content and a lot of your system in that small bite-sized chunk for my audience. I really appreciate that. And to the audience, as always, thanks for tuning in. I hope you got a lot of value out of this.
Stacey Riska, aka "Small Business Stacey" is a serial entrepreneur who is passionate about saving small - and not so small - businesses one marketing plan at a time. She helps business owners become a #SmallBizMarketingWiz by teaching them marketing strategies that get MORE: MORE leads, MORE customers/clients/patients, MORE sales, and MORE profit. Stacey's in-demand "Small Biz Marketing Success Coaching and Mastermind Program" is transforming the businesses - and lives - of those who want wealth, freedom, and market domination. Her highly acclaimed book "Small Business Marketing Made EZ" lays out the 6-simple-step plan to get your marketing into ACTION - literally and figuratively. Stacey is also the creator of Cups To Gallons, the place where independent coffee, smoothie, juice bar, ice cream, dessert and snack shop owners go to learn how get into lucrative catering so they stop selling by the cup and start selling by the gallon. In this program she teaches from experience, as it was the key strategy that transformed her coffee and smoothie business from being $500K in debt to a 7-figure profitable business. When not saving the small business world, she enjoys sipping red wine, eating chocolate (who doesn't!) and spending time with her amazing husband.
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